A Minor Review of 2017: Philadelphia Phillies

The Graduate: Rhys Hoskins, 1B/OF: Talent evaluators were generally cautious when projecting big numbers for Hoskins in the Majors despite strong pro numbers in the minors — including 39 homers in ’16. But he slugged another 29 homers in 115 triple-A games and the Phillies could ignore him no longer. He was unconscious as a big leaguer with anothet 18 long balls in just 50 games. He struck out a bit too much (almost 22%) but he also walked 17.5% of the time. Hoskins isn’t going to produce a .359 isolated slugging rate again but he can still be a stud. The signing of Carlos Santana curiously pushes Hoskins to left field where he may struggle to be average.

First Taste of The Show: J.P. Crawford, SS: This young infielder has been one of the organization’s top prospects since turning pro in 2013. He reached triple-A in 2016 and struggled a bit with the bat. He returned to that level in ’17 and continued to struggle to hit for average but he walked a lot and increased his power output. If the power surge was for real, Crawford has a chance to be an average-or-better hitter because he gets on base a lot. He also has a chance to be a very good defensive shortstop in The Show. He has a good shot at being the Phillies’ starting shortstop in 2018 but there could be some growing pains early on.

The Stud: Sixto Sanchez, RHP: Sanchez, 19, has the raw ingredients to be a stud. He has outstanding control for his age and walked just 18 batters in 95 innings in 2017. He can also fire his heater from the mid-90s into the upper-90s at times — and back that up with a potentially-plus curveball. A little more time with his changeup should give him a third average-or-better offering. Despite his modest height (listed at 6-feet), Sanchez does a great job of getting some plane on his offerings and gets some big ground-ball outs. He also allowed just two homers. A 2015 signee with a modest build, Sanchez has yet to throw more than 95 innings so there are some durability concerns.

The Draft Pick: Adam Haseley, OF: The Phillies liked Haseley enough to give him $5 million to sign as the eighth overall pick in the draft. For me, I see someone who might hit .280-.300 with a good approach at the plate and an above-average on base rate… but not much else. He doesn’t currently hit for power and, although he has decent speed, base stealing is not a part of his game. Haseley might make a good No. 2 hitter who will score a bunch of runs but I don’t see a huge impact guy here.

The Riser: Scott Kingery, 2B: There weren’t many players that evolved from 2016 to ’17 more than Kingery. Known as a good hitter with speed and little power, the second baseman saw his homer total jump from five to 26 year over year. He also stole 29 bases to become a 30-30 threat at the minor league level. The Phillies’ double-A stadium is known for being a hitter’s haven and Kingery’s isolated slugging dropped from .295 to .155 with a promotion to triple-A so I’m suggesting caution before getting too excited about 20-20 potential in the Majors. Still, 10-15 homers in The Show would be an improvement over expectations from early in his career. The prospect should reach the Majors in 2018.

The Sleeper: Jhailyn Ortiz, OF: A big-time international signee by the Phillies a few years ago, Ortiz began to tap into his immense potential in 2017. The teenaged outfielder possesses a big-time arm and big-time power. Half of his hits went for extra bases in short-season ball, including eight long balls. Ortiz has a lot of swing-and-miss to his game still, though, and struck out 47 times in 47 games. Nonetheless, with increased experience, Ortiz could be a beast.

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Brad Johnson

The Phillies are one of a handful of teams with which I have inside sources. They’re drooling over Ortiz. They think he’s possibly the best prospect to come through the system since Utley (although I wouldn’t quit on Hoskins taking that title). In addition to the physical talent, they love his work ethic and intangibles.